STORIES TELLING STORIES is a podcast dedicated to exploring pop culture's unfinished stories

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    STS 25K SPECIAL with Diane Jennings

    This week on LOCKED IN A VACANCY we’re celebrating a milestone… having hit 25k downloads for the STORIES TELLING STORIES podcast! It may seem like an unusual metric to celebrate, as most social media looks for nice, round numbers to mark as milestones… but 25 is my lucky number and we’re going to make it count. In celebration of the occasion, I’ve got a special guest joining us this episode…

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    LOCKED IN A VACANCY ep23: "A Nice EGG in these trying times"

    The Egg tells the story of a man who dies rather suddenly and is brought face-to-face with God; taking the opportunity to glean the answers to life’s biggest questions. And given the state of the world right now, we at STS decided to offer our listeners a nice egg in these trying times…

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    STS-306: Stories Telling SCARY Stories SPOOKTOBER 2020

    It’s that time of year again to get SPOOKY! I am DJ Bland and welcome to this very special episode of Stories Telling SCARY Stories! ooOOOOooo! Today we’re bringing you three super short tales of terror and fear, drug up from the depths of the unnamed internet, sure to send a shiver down your spine, just like the Simpsons apparently still do, but let’s be real, who even cares what happened beyond season 10?

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    What would you do if this evil lived inside you? Unseen. Unknown. An insidious disease so deadly and disastrous that it eradicated the majority of humanity in a matter of months? A pandemic with an unknown source and an unknown cure? A painless but assuredly fatal condition that robbed your body of the very bones that hold it all together? And what would you do if you and your child were somehow immune, secret survivors of this condition, watching on as a population desperate for a cure is tearing apart others in search of a solution? Would you speak up and help, or resign yourself to becoming the last human being on earth?

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    LOCKED IN A VACANCY ep21: "Masque of the Red Death" Spooktober 2020

    Prince Prospero, in his auspicious castle, built walls and barriers to separate himself and his chosen elite from the common people, to party and drink and commune without fear. But the Red Death found an entrance… whether by deliberate sabotage or a false sense of security and undiagnosed infection from an asymptomatic individual we may never know… this invisible enemy… this great disease… pandemic… one that “should not be feared” and yet can seemingly be quelled or at least comforted by access to a team of doctors and experimental medication that no insurance company would dream of paying for… it’s so simple… it’s not a bad virus… I’m wincing in pain with each breath as I stand aside the White House doors but after only three days and a cocktail of steroids, narcotics, and antivirals... here I am! A hero! A beacon of hope for all who contract this condition. One that should not be feared - - nay, I dare say I am BETTER now for having had it… stronger… faster… 20 years younger… and better able to lead and to serve with my first-hand knowledge of the true effects of this disease…

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    LOCKED IN A VACANCY ep20: "An Abenaki Legend"

    What started as a silly idea of mine a little over three years ago has morphed into something I could never have anticipated. In episode 1 I finished the silly submarine story that Mrs Hazeltine shared in the film that inspired this podcast. I wanted to tell stories. I wanted to write. I wanted to flex my artistic muscles during my theatrical off-season. And now as the STS podcast is on its 50th episode, I’m taking a moment to reflect on just how far this series has come.

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    LOCKED IN A VACANCY EP19: "RBG: May Her Memory Be a Blessing"

    Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg has died. She was a trailblazer. An icon. A hero and an inspiration to generations of young women. There is nothing I can say that hasn’t already been said… So for that I will say simply this… let her words be a beacon of hope for the hopeless, a rallying cry for the oppressed, and a thorn in the side of all who would work to roll back the rights she spent a lifetime advancing.

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    LOCKED IN A VACANCY ep18: #StopStalking

    In solidarity with "Sweet Anita's" campaign #StopStalking to combat the ongoing issues of stalking and abuse that plagues the creator community, I'm dedicating this episode to raising awareness to this issue. This is not an isolated issue... I've had several creators come forward, either publicly or behind community walls, to share their own stories of stalking and abuse. Only by working together can we stop this ongoing lack of justice for our creators and see to it the law treats their cases as valid, and those guilty of these heinous crimes get the punishment they deserve, instead of 99% of them walking away scot-free.

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    LOCKED IN A VACANCY ep17: "Rest In Power"

    The tragic and sudden loss of Chadwick Boseman, after a secret four-year battle with colon cancer has shocked and saddened the world. This is my eulogy for a remarkable man, told in part with his own words, and in relation to Plato telling of The Death of Socrates.

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    LOCKED IN A VACANCY ep16: "Sophistication" by Sherwood Anderson

    ”Sophistication” comes from the end of the anthology "Winesburg, Ohio," where recurring character George Willard nears the end of his coming-of-age arc. Having lost his mother in an earlier chapter, George has turned 18 and is wandering the streets feeling lost… like he has no place… no identity… but he finds a spiritual mediator in Helen White, who had undergone her own sort of transformation, and in this kinship they discover they can both find the peace that they were looking for...

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    LOCKED IN A VACANCY ep15: "Regret" by Guy de Maupassant

    Whether he lived a life of regret or not we may not know, but peering at the world through his eyes, we can get a bit of a better idea… This is… “REGRET” by GUY DE MAUPASSANT… on LOCKED IN A VACANCY…

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    STS-305: 3 Year Retrospective PLUS "The Gay Fish Hobbit" by Kanye West

    On the third anniversary of STORIES TELLING STORIES we look back on how far we've come and all the potential places we're going to go as we finish up Season 3 and look ahead to the next three years of the show! Plus "The Gay Fish Hobbit" by Kanye West from SOUTH PARK...

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    LOCKED IN A VACANCY ep14: "The Naked Lady" by Madison Smartt Bell

    After a mid-season hiatus, LIAV returns with "The Naked Lady," a story by Madison Smartt Bell that tells a story of heartbreak and friendship, through the eyes of a good friend. While this story, and the collection in which it was published, was in celebration of southern voices, the themes it contains are universal and the reading will be presented with a distinctly northern flair…

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    LOCKED IN A VACANCY ep13: In Another Country by Ernest Hemmingway

    "IN ANOTHER COUNTRY" is told through the eyes of an unnamed member of the Ambulance corps in Milan, Italy following World War 1, presumed to be from the perspective of Nick Adams, a character that author Ernest Hemmingway created to see the world through his own eyes. The story is short, but concise, and speaks of a myriad of issues of the time, some which have transcended time and are surprisingly relevant today…

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    LOCKED IN A VACANCY EP12: "So On He Fares" by George Moore

    George Moore was a novelist, short-story writer, poet, art critic, memoirist and dramatist. Although his work is sometimes seen as outside the mainstream of both Irish and British literature, he is as often regarded as the first great modern Irish novelist, influencing such authors as James Joyce, who we have also featured on this series. "So On He Fares" is the 10th chapter in a collection of short stories called "The Untilled Field" first published in 1903.

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    LOCKED IN A VACANCY ep11: "Miss Brill" by Katherine Mansfield

    I know this is more in line with how I present STORIES TELLING STORIES than LOCKED IN A VACANCY but I found Katherine Mansfield’s brief story to be fascinating and worth sharing. While it’s true her life was short, she LIVED IT. In this episode, we examine her short story "Miss Brill" which is both beautiful and dreadfully sad...

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    LOCKED IN A VACANCY ep9: "A Painful Case" by James Joyce

    One of the most influential authors of the 20th century, James Joyce was an author of Irish descent who helped define the modernist avant-garde movement, and is most fondly remembered for his novel "Ulysses" which is an artfully crafted retelling of Homer's Odyssey. But this week we take a deep dive into his lesser know work...

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    LOCKED IN A VACANCY ep8: "The Nightmare Box" by Chuck Palahniuk

    A modern master of gritty, modern, no-holds-barred literature, we take a look at a short story from the pacific north west's Chuck Palahniuk that often goes overlooked in his novel HAUNTED by its grotesque opener "Guts" but THE NIGHTMARE BOX stands on its own and invokes a different kind of fear in those who experience it....

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    LOCKED IN A VACANCY ep7: "The Escape" by J.B. Stamper

    A surprisingly popular Scholastic children's book with a dark tale to tell is the subject of episode 7 of LOCKED IN A VACANCY, as we explore "The Escape" by J.B. Stamper in our dramatic reading, and examine a news story about a real life ice cream shop in MA that closed after a single day after customers were so nasty to a 17 year old girl she quit.

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    LOCKED IN A VACANCY ep6: "The Boarded Window" by Ambrose Bierce

    Ambrose Bierce, held in regard for his skill in horror writing alongside contemporaries Poe and Lovecraft, is a fascinating figure who died with nearly as much fascination as he lived... Today we examine one of his lesser-known horror stories... THE BOARDED WINDOW... on episode 6 of LOCKED IN A VACANCY...

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    LOCKED IN A VACANCY ep5: "The Fog Horn" by Ray Bradbury

    This week on LOCKED IN A VACANCY we chat about the ongoing effects of lockdown on our mental and emotional health, and tackle a dramatic reading of Ray Bradbury's short story "THE FOG HORN."

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    LOCKED IN A VACANCY ep4: "Soldier's Home" by Ernest Hemmingway

    Another week in isolation... this time we look at a story by Ernest Hemmingway that tells the tale of a soldier, home from The Great War and feeling lost and disconnected from his life. Nothing is interesting, he has no desire to do ANYTHING... a feeling a lot of us can relate to right now.

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    LOCKED IN A VACANCY ep3: "The Door in the Wall" by H.G. Wells

    LOCKED IN A VACANCY ep3 has series producer Eric R Hill discussing the latest developments in the ongoing "Stay Home" order in his state, plus the disastrous economic impacts that could come if, as planned, three of the Vermont State Colleges close... He then takes us through a dramatic reading of H.G. Wells' incredible work "The Door in the Wall."

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    LOCKED IN A VACANCY ep1: The Cask of Amontillado

    STS PRESENTS: LOCKED IN A VACANCY: a new miniseries that examines stories of isolation and solitude through discussion and staged reading. In Episode 1 we examine Edgar Allan Poe's penultimate work "The Cask of Amontillado"

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    STS-304: Dear Mr Vernon (The Breakfast Club)

    The John Hughes masterpiece THE BREAKFAST CLUB ends with Brian writing an essay, on behalf of the group, that supposedly contains all 1,000 words as assigned and yet, we only hear a select few as the film draws to a close... What did Brian write in the rest of his essay?

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    STS-302: Stories Telling LOVE Stories ASMR

    Hello and welcome to the Stories Telling Love Stories ASMR podcast… I am your sexy-time chef, DJ Bland, and tonight’s menu includes a carefully curated collection of love noises sure to entice the hormone monster inside you, and stoke a fire in the loins of the one you love…

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    STS-301: 100 Girls I'd Like to Pork (Throw Momma From the Train)

    We’re not losing sight of our roots, as we’re launching SEASON 3 with another story from the inspirational source of this podcast… this is Mr. Pinsky's “100 GIRLS I’D LIKE TO PORK” from “Throw Momma From the Train” on Stories Telling Stories…

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    STS-214: The Book of Arnold HOLIDAY SPECIAL 2019


    EPISODE STS-214:

    The Book of Arnold

    Based on The Book of Mormon

    By Trey Parker & Matt Stone

    ---But it’s actually the Sequel Trilogy---

    Book, Music, and Lyrics

    by Eric R. Hill

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    STS-213: Dear Friend... (The Perks of Being a Wallflower)

    We’ve all been there… high school… day 1… the challenge to fit in, to make friends, the struggle to find ourselves in the manic energy of a new building, surrounded by a sea of foreign faces. It’s all too familiar and all too real, a time in our life most of us would rather forget. But most of us don’t have the cloud of childhood trauma hanging over our heads… This is… Charlie’s “Dear Friend” letters, from novel-turned-indie film “Perks of Being a Wallflower” on STORIES TELLING STORIES.

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    STS-212: Dale Gribble's The Magic Bullet (King of the Hill)

    What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Texas? BBQ? Chili? The Kennedy Assassination? Oswald and the Grassy Knoll? Or is it Propane and Propane Accessories? In the sleepy town of Arlen there exists a man. He’s the man for this point in time. A man of dignity. A man of respect. A man of… oh wait… this story isn’t about Hank… Or Bill, or Boomhauer. This is… THE MAGIC BULLET from Mike Judge’s animated series “King of the Hill” on STORIES TELLING STORIES.

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    STS-211: Tome of the Eternal Darkness (Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem)

    When things go bump in the night… when statues and paintings have wandering eyes… when our sanity drops to dangerously low levels, how can we know what’s real, and what isn’t really happening? Set the clock to 3:33 and enter the secret room… sit down at the ancient desk and peer inside the tightly-bound pages as we examine one of the strongest women in video game terror, Alexandra Roivas, in part 4 and our epic conclusion to the 2019 STS Halloween Spooktacular. This is… The Tome of the Eternal Darkness… on STORIES TELLING STORIES.

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    STS-210: Lecter's Quid Pro Quo (Silence of the Lambs)

    Today on STORIES TELLING STORIES we serve up some liver, alongside some fava beans and a nice chianti as we take a bite out of Hannibal Lecter’s “Quid Pro Quo” to Detective Clarice Starling in “SILENCE OF THE LAMBS”... Part 3 of our 4-Part October Spook-Tacular, where we examine a collection of strong female characters from across horror and fear in pop culture.

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    STS-209: Misery's Return (Misery)

    Today on STORIES TELLING STORIES we peel back the binding and breath in the intoxicating must of a vintage hard cover as we examine the story within the story in Stephen King’s MISERY… MISERY’S RETURN, in Part 2 of our 4-Part October Spook-Tacular, where we examine a collection of strong female characters from across horror and fear in pop culture.

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    STS-208: Garden of Flesh (Cabin by the Lake)

    STANLEY: The lake! You’re supposed to die IN...THE...LAKE!

    The leaves are changing… the days are getting colder and the nights are getting longer… autumn is in the air. It’s October, and Halloween is just around the corner; a time for sweet treats, tricks and treats, and scary stories to keep you up at night… Here at STS, we’re no strangers to the power of a good scary story, so we’re setting up a Halloween Spook-Tacular October, with four tales of terror sure to make your spine tingle… first up, we take a midnight ride to the middle of Summit Lake, to examine an underwater offering from my favorite early-2000’s made-for-TV movie, and examine Judd Nelson’s haunting portrayal of B-Movie script writer Stanley Caldwell. This is... GARDEN OF FLESH, from USA Network’s CABIN BY THE LAKE, on STORIES TELLING STORIES...

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    STS-207: State of the Cast & Cast of THE STATE part 1

    In this episode of STORIES TELLING STORIES, we look back on what we’ve accomplished so far with 1 and a half seasons of this wild, wacky, inflatable, arm-flailing, Danny DeVito Throw Momma From The Train Inspired pop culture podcast... We examine the delays that have plagued season 2… and, most importantly, the desire to break out of the self-imposed mold into which this show was born in this STATE OF THE CAST update, as well as introduce our new limited-sister series CAST OF THE STATE where we examine the history of, and cast members of MTV’s gone-but-not-forgotten early 90’s sketch comedy show THE STATE.

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    STS-206: Wish it, Want it, Do it! (Family Guy)

    So today on STORIES TELLING STORIES, we peel back the fur, crack back the cranium and question curiously how this cunning canine became a cult classic of cartoon, uh… crap... I was on such an alliterative run there… Anyway, This is Brian Griffin’s best-selling self-help novel WISH IT, WANT IT, DO IT!... written and read by Eric R. Hill

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    STS REBOOTED: Stories Telling Bedtime Stories ASMR

    Hello and welcome to the Stories Telling Bedtime Stories ASMR podcast… I am your sleepy-time chef, DJ Bland, and tonight’s menu includes a carefully curated collection of clicks and clacks that are sure to lull you into a sense of satisfaction and sleep…

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    STS-203: The Book of Cagliostro (Doctor Strange)

    Today on STORIES TELLING STORIES, we go behind the cape and crack the knowledge protected by the master of the mystic arts… This is… The Book of Cagliostro, from Doctor Strange.

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    STS-201: Murder at my Friend Harry's (Throw Momma From The Train)

    In the SEASON 2 PREMIERE of STORIES TELLING STORIES, we take a look at another story gleaned from the driving inspiration behind this podcast, with “Murder at my Friend Harry’s” from the seminal 80’s dark comedy THROW MOMMA FROM THE TRAIN…

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    STS-012: A Peter Griffin Christmas (Family Guy)

    It’s the holiday season here at STORIES TELLING STORIES and to get into the Christmas Spirit we’re going to crack open the eggnog, head over to the hi-fi, and relax to the joyous sounds of… A Peter Griffin Christmas, from Family Guy… our first by-request episode, sent in by Michelle C of South Burlington, VT

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    STS-011: The Tragedy of Darth Plagueis the Wise

    Here at STORIES TELLING STORIES we’re no strangers to pop-culture, especially when it comes to science fiction. And perhaps no collection of science fiction is more iconic, inspiring, polarizing, and beloved than George Lucas’ space opera epic… STAR WARS. With the house of mouse’s release of Episode VIII “THE LAST JEDI” into theaters, I couldn’t help but think back on all the controversial Star Wars stories that have made their way into saga… but none perhaps quite so iconic as the Tragedy of Darth Plagueis The Wise.

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    STS-010: Dennis Reynolds; An Erotic Life

    In this episode of STORIES TELLING STORIES, in the shadow of a scandalous removal from streaming behemoth NETFLIX, we bow before the Golden God and pay tribute to the greatest piece of erotica ever conceived… This is… Dennis Reynolds: An Erotic Life, from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.

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    STS-009: Larry Sellers' Homework (The Big Lebowski)

    In today’s Comicon-based episode of STORIES TELLING STORIES, we take a trip out to early 90’s North Hollywood, to the house of Arthur Digby Sellers, to speak to his son (a young man named Larry) who supposedly left his poorly-graded homework on THE LOUISIANA PURCHASE in The Dude’s stolen car.

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    STS-008: Handbook For The Recently Deceased (Beetlejuice)

    In today’s Halloween episode Spook-tacular of STORIES TELLING STORIES, we revisit the timeless 80’s classic BEETLEJUICE by taking a peek inside the magical and mysterious “HANDBOOK FOR THE RECENTLY DECEASED.”

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    STS-007 I Am Jack's Body (Fight Club)

    In today’s episode of STORIES TELLING STORIES, we take a trip down to Paper Street to examine a collection of first-person narrative essays written by one man’s organs and emotions, but I’m not supposed to talk about it... This is I AM JACK’S BODY; a collection of works assembled from David Fincher’s adaptation of Chuck Palahniuk’s masterwork; FIGHT CLUB.

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    STS-005: I'm Okay, Why Aren't You? (The Simpsons)

    In today’s episode of STORIES TELLING STORIES, we look back at one of the many “therapeutic” novels penned by the recently-resurrected Dr. Marvin Monroe from The Simpsons; author of such other classics as “If Money Is The Root of All Evil, Let Me Set You Free” and “Me, Myself, And I: Memoirs of a Modern Genius.”

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    STS-004: The Poop That Took A Pee (South Park)

    In today’s episode of STORIES TELLING STORIES, we take a listen to Leopold “Butters” Stotch’s sequel to The Tale of Scrotie McBoogerballs; THE POOP THAT TOOK A PEE from the crass, polarizing, and brilliant animated series SOUTH PARK.

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